Jack could still taste the Doctor’s kiss on his lips as he waited for death to come. He was hanging onto that blissful, wonderful feeling and using it to draw strength from in the battle that was to come.
Something had been nagging at him the entire time he was on the Game Station and it was more than just being separated from the Doctor and Rose. At first it just seemed like the three of them had teleported onto the sets of reality TV shows that people were literally dying to be on. He should’ve known that there was something more sinister going on behind the scenes but he never would’ve guessed it was the Daleks.
After all of the years he’d spent as a Time Agent and all the aliens he’d encountered he’d never heard of the Daleks. Rose had told him about them one night when they were on the TARDIS, how they found one chained up in a bunker in Utah as part of van Statten’s collection. Her touch had revived it and it broke free and started killing everyone in the bunker and even tried to kill Rose until something inside it changed. Whatever energy Rose had given the Dalek when she touched it had left a connection between them. The Dalek had developed a sense of compassion from Rose. In the end, the Dalek couldn’t cope with its newfound emotions and self-destructed.
She’d also told him how terrified the Doctor had been when he first saw the Dalek, how he kept insisting that the Daleks only killed and couldn’t be changed. She mentioned that the Doctor was going to kill the Dalek but she made him stop. She didn’t want him to become like the thing he hated most.
That same night Rose had told Jack what little she knew about the Time War. All Jack had known to that point was that the Doctor was a Time Lord, that he travelled in a blue box called a TARDIS and that he was the last of his kind. She told him how the Time War had raged across the entire universe and that the Time Lords had been fighting against the Daleks. She’d gotten choked up when she’d mentioned that the Doctor had had to end the Time War at the cost of his family, his people and his home.
The Doctor’s planet had burned, he was the last of the kind and the Daleks had been completely wiped out… or so they had thought until they saw the Dalek Emperor along with nearly half a million Daleks ready to exterminate the entire Earth and the rest of the universe, starting with the Game Station.
Jack, Rose and the Doctor had done the best they could to prepare for the upcoming battle: fortifying the Game Station with barricades, arming people with any weapons they could find or improvise, and keeping up the morale. The last thing they needed was someone getting frightened and firing off a shot too early.
Even while Jack tried to stay positive he, like the Doctor, knew the grim truth- they didn’t stand a chance against a full fleet of Daleks. He knew that many of them, if not all of them, were going to die. He didn’t want anyone to get killed and couldn’t help but feel a wave of sadness every time he looked at Rose, who was worried but still positive and hopeful. Her blind, unwavering confidence in the Doctor was dangerous. She thought the Doctor was brilliant and clever enough to come up with some last minute plan to save everyone from the Daleks. Even in the face of what was almost certain death Rose still managed to hang onto an impossible amount of hope that they were going to survive.
The Doctor had a plan but it came at a terrible cost. The Delta Wave would kill the Daleks and would also destroy half of the Earth with it including half of the human race- roughly forty-eight billion people. It was only some small comfort that part of the planet would live on. Whether the Daleks exterminated them or not the Delta Wave would kill everyone on the Game Station including Jack, the Doctor and Rose. He could see the tension on the Doctor’s face as he grappled with an impossible decision under extreme pressure.
Jack wasn’t so much thinking about himself but of the Earth down below, the people on the Game Station, and the Doctor and Rose. Rose was so young. At nineteen years old she had barely begun living her life and now it was going to end all too soon… or it would have if the Doctor hadn’t come up with a way to save her at the last minute.
Whatever guilt the Time Lord must’ve had at tricking Rose into the TARDIS and sending her back to her time was short lived. It was a one way trip home. They’d never see her again but she would survive, be reunited with her mom and Mickey and live to an old age. That’s what mattered most.
The Doctor said he needed time to prepare the Delta Wave so that’s what Jack would do, buy him some time. He and everyone else on the Game Station got into position and waited.
Jack couldn’t help but think about his life in what he was sure was going to be his final minutes. He thought about when he was a boy on the Boeshane Peninsula, the years he spent with the Time Agency, and the missing two years of his memory, and, most of all, Rose and the Doctor.
He’d never forget the first time he saw Rose hanging from a barrage balloon wearing a Union Jack t shirt during the London Blitz. Back then he was just a con man looking for someone to buy his damaged Chula medical ship but the time he’d spent with the Doctor and Rose had changed him and made him a better person. His only regret was that he hadn’t been able to spend much time with the two of them. They could’ve had years of friendship travelling the universe in the TARDIS helping people and saving planets and now they’d never get that chance. There was so much he wanted to tell Rose and the Doctor, to express the gratitude for their friendship and tell them how he felt about them and he conveyed those emotions in the only way he could- with a kiss for both of them. A kiss goodbye.
All too soon the fighting broke out. Jack and the others on the Game Station fought as best they could, managing to destroy a few Daleks, but it wasn’t enough. They were outnumbered and dropping fast and he couldn’t help but feel guilt and anguish for each person that died. The Daleks kept breaching their defences, pushing them farther and farther back, ruthlessly exterminating anyone who fought against them until Jack had been driven back to an empty room and given a few minutes to catch his breath. He could hear the deafening roar of gunfire over the comm system, the terrified screams of the dying, the sound of the Daleks’ weapons and their metallic voices shrieking as they slaughtered over a hundred people.
The Daleks kept getting closer and closer until he could hear them on the other side of the metal door and see them cutting through it with their weapons. His time was running out.
Jack was terrified but he wasn’t one to run from a fight. The Doctor and the Earth and the entire human race were counting on him. He had to buy more time for the Delta Wave. If he was going to die he’d take out as many Daleks as he could. He was doing it for Rose. He was doing it for the Doctor. He was sacrificing himself to save the ones he loved.
The sounds of screaming ended abruptly just as the metal door burst open. Jack was the last one alive, facing down death in the form of nightmarish metal monstrosities. A chill passed through him as he came face to face with three Daleks. The blue glow of their eyestalks were cold and emotionless. Now he understood why the Doctor had been out of his mind with panic and terror when he saw the damaged Dalek in the bunker in Utah.
Instead of being paralyzed with fear Jack courageously stood his ground, dodging their weapon blasts and firing at the Daleks with everything he had until his gun and pistol were out of ammo, until he was cornered with nowhere to go. It didn’t matter if they killed him, the Delta Wave would destroy all the Daleks and the human race would survive. The Daleks would permanently be defeated and the threat would end once and for all.
Showing no fear, Jack stared the Daleks straight in their eyestalks. In that last instant he thought of how much he hated the Daleks, how the Doctor would die along with him and how Rose would survive.
“EXTERMINATE!” a Dalek shrieked.
“I kind of figured that,” Jack said, spreading his arms.
A flash of blue light hit Jack’s body, illuminating his skeleton. The blast was so strong that it threw him backwards into the wall before he slumped to the floor dead.